Trimble-Peck; Peck-Trimble either way, it still works
February 6, 2003
From their youth-football days with the VFW Patriots, to their high school days at Fort Hill, to their college days at the University of Maryland, Lyle Peck and Steve Trimble complimented each other beautifully and always brought out the best in those around them. Trimble and Peck; Peck and Trimble. When Suter Kegg wrote about their athletic exploits he called them Thunder and Lightning and Fort Hills Dynamite Duo. When Suter talked about them, he called them what everybody’s always called them: Steve and Lyle; Lyle and Steve.
Lyle and Steve were back together again last Saturday night at the 55th annual Dapper Dan Awards Banquet. Lyle receiving overdue recognition for being one of the greatest athletes in the history of this area; Steve delivering remarks as a former professional football player and the current head football coach at Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington, Va.
Lyle went first, as he usually did when he and Steve were teammates, and he hit the line with as much power as ever. He spoke passionately of his past, and people who helped him become the person he is today Roy Manges, John Alkire, his family. He said he was grateful for the recognition by the Dapper Dan Club of Allegany County, but what was important to him was to remember that somebody came along first.
“I want to talk about legacy and legends,” Peck said. “You have to have a legacy to become a legend. You have to have a past. Some of those people for me are here tonight who have never received the recognition: Mr. Danny Darr, one of the greatest athletes to come out of Cumberland. The second person is Mr. Dump Younger, one of the fastest men nobody knows about. And then one of the most ferocious hitters to ever grace the football field at Allegany High School. He’s a wonderful gentleman. I beg you to say two words to him. You’ll fall in love with him. Mr. Larry Banks.”
Peck spoke of his uncle, William Colbert, who nearly died as an infant, but who would not be permitted to die by his mother, who held the baby with her faith and close to her heart on a train ride from Alabama to Maryland. “That’s legacy”, Peck said, “and that’s legend.”
Trimble, citing Beall football coach Roy DeVore’s use of former Cleveland Browns coach Blanton Colliers famous quote, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish when nobody cares who gets the credit,” talked about being Peck’s teammate when the two played on Fort Hills 1975 state-championship football team. “In our years together at Fort Hill,” Trimble said. “I received a lot of credit for things I didn’t feel I needed to. It was a team thing. We were there to win football games and that’s what we did.” Trimble recalled the Sentinels 34-27 double-overtime semifinal victory over Northwood. It was winding down, Trimble said. “We needed to score a touchdown. In the huddle, Lyle looked at me and said, ‘Just follow me’. And I said, ‘Hey, that’s what I’ve been doing all year’. I took the ball, looked up to the hole and Lyle was four yards deep in the end zone, and I was two. We had scored, won the game and went on to win the state championship the following week.”
Trimble went on to say, “I’ve never believed I was the best football player in my family, and I don’t believe I was the best football player on the 75 state-championship team. He’s right here, ladies and gentlemen the man to my left. Mr. Lyle Peck.”
Like Peck, Trimble won many a championship, and broke many a record along the way, but those things, he said, were simply the icing on the cake of participating and being encouraged to do his best. “Parents and coaches, please encourage these young people to participate and give a great effort. Winning and losing, breaking records that’s all great. But participating is what counts. I had many mentors in my life. One we’ve talked about, Mr. Roy Manges (Pecks and Trimble’s youth-league coach). He was a great mentor to me. He yelled at me when I did something wrong. But he yelled at me when I did something right. Because, as we know, that’s Roy. “
(Former Fort Hill coach) “Charlie Lattimer is a great gentleman. I learned a lot about being a man from Mr. Lattimer.” Trimble recognized his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Russell Trimble, and said one reason he became a high school coach was to spend time with his four children. “I learned about family and dedication to family from my parents, and I want to pass that along to my children. If I can be half the parent that my parents have been, I’ll be all right. “
Trimble told the athletes in attendance that their successes would always be based on their commitment and their discipline. “You have to be committed to what you want to do. You have to be disciplined enough to do it and do it well. There are times when you have to forgo the party to go to practice or to do homework, and do it well. Do the things you need to do and do them well.”
Trimble said one of the biggest lessons he learned at Maryland came from words spoken by his coach, Jerry Claiborne. Coach Claiborne always said, “Character is what you do when you don’t think anybody’s watching. Think about that ... Character is what you do when you don’t think anybody’s watching. Follow that example and you’ll be all right.” Trimble also said he bristles when he hears athletes insist they are not role models. “I hate to hear athletes say that,” he said. “Athletes are role models because there are young eyes watching. And based on what I’ve seen here tonight, Allegany County is in good shape with its young people. I’ve been inspired. Continue to inspire me.”
Photographs from Fort Hill School. Peck is on the left.
Allegany County, Maryland
African Americans, History; Allegany County (Md.), History.
Allegany County (Md.), 1890-2008